In January, members of our research group were actively participating in discussions about intercultural education, politics and activism in two public events organized at the University of Helsinki.
At the Night of Science, the annual block party for science and research, Tuija Veintie and Johanna Hohenthal gave a public talk on intercultural education and the “good life” in the Ecuadorian Amazonia. The talk provided an overview of the intercultural bilingual education in Ecuador and politics of good life (Buen vivir). The former Ecuadorian government promoted the politics of good life, including plurinationality, interculturality and quality education, but at the
same time the education policy reforms led to a decrease in Indigenous self-determination with regard to their educational system, as well as to diminishing number of schools and educational institutes providing instruction in Indigenous languages and respecting Indigenous knowledges and perspectives.
Current Latin American political situation was under examination at Think Corner earlier the same week when Paola Minoia participated in a panel discussion, What is happening in South America and why?, organized by Development Studies together with the Citizen Utopias in the Global South project. This panel discussion focused on the wave of demonstrations that broke out in several Latin American countries during the last months of year 2019. The panelists examined the turbulent political situation in Bolivia, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador, reflecting on the underlying factors that have led to unrest and civil society activism in each of these Latin American countries. As a common feature between these countries, the dissatisfaction toward the inequality and economic distress draw masses of people from different social strata to the streets. In several cases, including Ecuador, particularly the young people, students, and Indigenous people have been actively involved in the social activism and leading the protests.